The last trip I took before the world irrevocably changed was to the newly opened Four Seasons Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Retreat. In normal times you’d be reading about the resort in this month’s magazine, but we are far from normal times, so we’ll give you that story sometime in the future, when flying for six hours over the Pacific seems more approachable. That being said, I’ll give you a quick preview: it might be the greatest resort in the world. And it definitely has the best toilet seats of any resort in the world.
In a lot of ways the world is broken into two types of people: those who stare blankly at the words Toto Washlet and those who have been touched by its magic, who’d develop an internal glow at the mention of a toilet seat. We’re just finishing off our annual Bathrooms Issue and as beautiful as the spaces are, every one that doesn’t feature a Toto Washlet just seems like a porcelain monument to missed opportunities. The easiest way to describe the Washlet: it’s the pinnacle of the Japanese obsession with cleanliness and perfection. It's an integrated, multi-function wand that does the work of a bidet, a dryer and a towel all with the discreteness that the Japanese are famous for.
The reason they’re not more common is that they’re absurdly expensive (the top of the line, like they have at Koele are $3,400 US). But yesterday, I made my first visit to Costco since the pandemic hit, and there it was in the this aisle before the baked goods: a Toto Washlet for $459.99. I’ll admit that that’s still pricey for a toilet seat, but it’s a bargain for something that will brighten each and every day, if even for a few moments. Like it or not, our homes have now become our fortresses…so shouldn’t they be equipped with a suitable throne?